Construction works have started for the high-speed railway line which will connect Turkey’s capital Ankara to the central Anatolian province of Sivas. The first tracks were laid on 25 March in the Yerköy district of Yozgat during a ceremony attended by Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan, Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz and Yozgat Governor Kemal Yurtnaç.
The 405 kilometer railway line, which will go through the central Anatolian provinces of Kırıkkale and Yozgat, will shorten the travel time between Ankara and Sivas to two hours from the current 12 hours. The project, which also includes the construction of a total of 49 tunnels, is estimated to cost TRY 9 billion (USD 2.26 billion). “All works on the railway project will be completed within a year. Passengers will be able to travel from Istanbul to Sivas in 5.5 hours,” said Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan.
Once completed, it will be the second longest high-speed railway in Turkey after the Istanbul-Ankara high speed line (533 km). ”The high speed journey from Ankara to Sivas will take 2 hours. Of course, this is not only a connection between Ankara and Sivas, but it is also a connection to Istanbul. Therefore, the Istanbul-Sivas train journey will also be reduced to 5 hours. At the same time, Konya, Izmir, Bursa will have high speed rail connection. After Sivas and Erzincan, our route to Kars will be connected in the same way. Sivas will be a high-speed trendy center. It will be connected to all the arteries in both the east and the west”, İsa Apaydın General Manager of Turkish Railways (TCDD) said.
For the time being, the high-speed railway is operational on the distance between Ankara and Istanbul. Once the section to Haydarpaşa rail section is completed, passengers departing from Sivas will reach Istanbul in five hours. Finally, Ankara-Sivas high-speed railway will be connected to the recently inaugurated Baku-Tbilisi-Kars corridor. The corridor is considered an important part of the Middle Corridor within the Chinese Initiative One Belt, One Road. Currently, Turkey benefits from a network of 1,213km of high-speed railway, while extension works to the network to Ankara, Kırıkkale, Yozgat and Sivas continue.